Mary of Modena (Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este; 5 October 1658 – 7 May 1718) was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II and VII. A devout Catholic, Mary became, in 1673, the second wife of James, Duke of York, who later succeeded his older brother Charles II as King James II. Mary was uninterested in politics and devoted to James and her children, two of whom survived to adulthood: the Jacobite claimant to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones, James Francis Edward Stuart, known as "The Old Pretender", and Princess Louise Mary.
Born a princess of the Italian Duchy of Modena, Mary is primarily remembered for the controversial birth of James Francis Edward, her only surviving son. It was widely rumoured that he was a changeling, brought into the birth-chamber in a warming-pan, in order to perpetuate King James II's Catholic dynasty. Although the accusation was entirely false, and the subsequent privy council investigation only reaffirmed this, James Francis Edward's birth was a contributing factor to the Glorious Revolution. The revolution deposed James II and replaced him with his daughter from his first marriage Mary and her husband, William III of Orange.
Exiled to France, the "Queen over the water"—as Jacobites (followers of James II) called Mary—lived with her husband and children in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, provided by Louis XIV of France. Mary was popular among Louis XIV's courtiers; however, James was considered a bore. In widowhood, Mary spent much time with the nuns at the Convent of Chaillot, where she and her daughter spent their summers. In 1701, when James II died, James Francis Edward became king in the eyes of Jacobites, as "James III". As he was too young to assume the nominal reins of government, Mary acted as regent until he reached the age of 16. When "James III" was asked to leave France as part of the Treaty of Utrecht, Mary stayed, despite having no family there, Princess Louise Mary having died of smallpox. Fondly remembered by her French contemporaries, Mary died of breast cancer in 1718.
Other articles related to "mary of modena":
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Famous quotes containing the word mary:
“And the song she was singing ever since
In my ear sounds on:
Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence!
Mistress Mary is dead and gone!”
—John Greenleaf Whittier (18071892)